Trump's obvious character flaws leave him unable to face the historical moment

Trump's obvious character flaws leave him unable to face the historical moment
Trump's obvious character flaws leave him unable to face the historical moment

A president, character is everything, wrote famous speech writer Peggy Noonan. And there lies President Donald Trump's inability to face this American moment.

Noonan, in an essay praising his former boss Ronald Reagan, noted the human qualities behind successful leadership in the White House. Empathy, courage, vision, decency, openness: These traits have produced moments of the President that resonate in history.

The apparent absence of those qualities in Trump left him exceptionally ill to deal with the intermittent challenges of the public health epidemic, economic collapse, and racial conflict that the nation is now facing. The results have led to hostility, division and hardship across the country.

Consider some of the iconic events that helped define CEOs in the last century. They record the opposite effect of the current title.

After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt prepared the Americans for the coming battle by leveling with them: "It will not only be a long war, it will be a hard war." Trump has misled Americans about many aspects of the current crisis: reducing the threat of coronovirus, increasing the likelihood of rapid economic recovery, characterizing the protests by describing participants as "arson, looters, criminals and anarchists" To distort They want to destroy our country. "

Harry Truman assumed the responsibility of the presidency by announcing "money stops here". Trump dodged the money and insisted on the White House rose garden saying "I am not responsible at all" for the failures of the coronovirus.

Dwight Eisenhower used the extraordinary powers of his office for primary national purposes by sending federal troops to protect black students in Arkansas schools. Trump sent federal officials to forcibly disperse Americans in a peaceful protest over the police assassination of an unarmed black man.

John F. Kennedy called the nation together for shared purposes: "Don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Kennedy accepted personal responsibility when his guards were attacked by the Bay of Pigs of Cuba.

'Only I Can Fix It'

Trump makes personal continuity his subject, telling Americans that "I can only fix it" and publicly thanking myself for positive progress. Disturbances, it reacts to anything by coronovirus failures, civil unrest and blaming others.

Lyndon Johnson advanced the American ideal of equality with the law of civil rights, even when he accurately predicted that it would weaken his political party in the South. That decision helped white voters dominate the presidential election for a generation.

Now that a converted national voter favors Democrats, Trump joins other Republicans in opposition to efforts to facilitate voting during the epidemic threat. He acknowledges that the high level of voting hurt Republicans.

Ronald Reagan inspired a distracted nation with a vision of America as a "magnificent city on a hill". Its first inauguration placed "idealism and fair play" at the center of the nation's strength.

Trump defended the Russian AutoCat whose intelligence services mocked the United States and told an interviewer, "Do you think our country is so innocent?" His first act accused his predecessors of "killing" voters for their personal gain.

George W. Bush sought to protect American Muslims from intolerance by visiting a mosque after the September 11 attack on al Qaeda. Trump placed racial division at the center of his political strategy, using the epidemic as an excuse to restrict visas for new entrants and expel asylum seekers.

Barack Obama, using religious faith, praised a nation affected by the 2015 Charleston Church massacre to comfort and led his audience on "amazing grace". Trump, once the protesters were forcibly removed along his way, walked a block from the White House, just to be photographed in front of a church, placing a bible high.

Richard Nixon, who became the only president to resign as a result of the Watergate crimes, called himself commander-in-chief of "law and order", "America's" silent majority. Trump invoked those slogans, following Nixon's strategy of polarization.

But even Nixon, strangely, once left the White House to talk to anti-war protesters at the Lincoln Memorial, with no cameras present. Last week, troops were dispatched to block the path to the memorial.

Leadership gap

Without naming him, Trump's predecessors in both parties have tried to fill a leadership election that he speaks of. George W. Bush said this spring responded to Trump's anger against Democrats over coronoviruses by saying, "We get up or we fall together."

Following Monday's violent crackdown on protesters outside the White House, Bush declared that "those who go out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of the United States." Separately, Obama offered a reminder that "this country was set in protest, it is called the American Revolution."

Trump responded to such criticism with personal attacks. But the falling numbers of the president suggest that most Americans view his leadership harshly.

Like some of his former senior colleagues. In a blustery explosion last week, Trump's first Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, called Trump's intentions a fundamental division for the nation's constitution and its values. Former White House chief John Kelly agreed.

"I think we should look at the people running for office and go through the filter," Kelly said on Friday. "How is your character?"

More than three years as president have pierced Trump's character. He has other faults, such as his ignorance of history and public policy, trivial in comparison.

"The president doesn't have to be a genius," Noonan wrote 25 years ago. "It doesn't have to be smart. You can make someone smart."

"But you cannot buy courage and decency, and you cannot hire a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him."

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